BANKING: Boomlet

For seven years the banker has been the forgotten man of U. S. business. But last week commercial loans of banks reporting to the Federal Reserve showed their 24th consecutive rise, touched $8,600,000,000 (up 14.4% since outbreak of World War II to a new high since 1929). The commercial loan figure, once almost as good a guide to business activity as the Federal Reserve Board index of production, was beginning to follow the industrial curve again.

Last summer Congress made defense orders the first Government contracts in a century assignable for borrowing. This cut in the banks on the defense...

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